Scientists say the number of great white sharks in the ocean off the coast of Eastern North America is increasing. But, before you start reliving your "Jaws" nightmares, try not to sweat it. Scientists say this is actually a good thing.
Great whites help control the population of other species and their survival is key in keeping the oceanic ecosystem in tact. (Via National Geographic)
The animals are currently listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, meaning they will likely become endangered if the factors threatening the species do not improve.
Great white shark numbers dropped significantly through the 60's, 70's and 80's. (Via YouTube / Free Documentary)
Scientists believe the reason the numbers are getting better is because of conservation efforts, like the 1997 act that prevented the hunting on great whites.
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration published a study this month in the journal PLOS ONE showing the recent increase of great whites.
Data for the study came from a variety of sources including fishery statistics, commercial fishery observer programs, scientific research surveys and word of mouth. (Via Discovery)
And remember how we said this whole increase in sharks is a good thing? Well, scientists say you are 30 times more likely to be killed by lightning than die from a shark attack. So I guess, don't be afraid to hit the beach — just head inside if you think a storm's coming.
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